May 22, 2016

Afternoon Snack - Buttery French Baguette with Nutella and Brie

The short cooking video, usually around one minute is getting its popularity on the Internet. I can see it on Facebook almost on a daily basis. One day I came across a video using French baguette, Nutella, and Brie for a quick snack and the idea stuck on my mind ever since. Finally got a chance to give it a try and the result was very comforting, and fattening. 

Buttery French baguette and Nutella and Brie - 



Ingredients (makes four)?

  • 1 small or 8 slices French baguette
  • 4 thick slices Brie
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 dollops Nutella
  • Some caster sugar (optional)



How?

Slice the baguette diagonally, two slices make one portion. In addition, I'm using chunky round shaped Brie so half of the cheese works perfectly for one baguette sandwich. 

Take a non-stick pan, add in two tablespoons of butter and turn to medium heat. Once melted but not reaching the smoking yet, add in the baguette slices and sear till the bottom edges turn slightly browned. Remove from heat immediately.

Take four baguette slices with seared side up, add one portion of Brie and top with one dollop of Nutella. Repeat for the remaining 3 baguette slices. Top the semi-finished sandwiches with the other four baguette slices, this time seared side down. That way you'll end up with 4 baguette sandwiches with all seared sides in the center.


Using the same non-stick pan and melt two more tablespoons of butter. Carefully transfer the Nutella and Brie baguette sandwiches back to the pan and sear both the top and bottom till slightly colored. 

Use a spatula to press down the sandwiches during the process. Don't be afraid of melted ingredients bursting out, just the thought of overflowing Brie and Nutella make my mouth watering. 

Once ready, transfer onto a serving plate and dust with caster sugar if desired. Also slice the baguette sandwich in half if preferred.


Crunchy on the outside with buttery, cheesy, and velvety oozing goodness in the center, definitely my type of afternoon snack. 


Other recipe using Nutella:


May 16, 2016

A Refreshing Twist with Jinhua Ham Infused Chicken Stock

Chicken stock is one of my must have ingredients in the household. Freshly made stock remains on the top spot but canned version and make ahead frozen homemade stock are always welcomed. 

This recipe uses Chinese version chicken stock infused with Jinhua ham, a type of dry cured ham from China. 

Quickly dip a small to medium sized chunk of Jinhua ham to boiling water then take the back of the knife to scrape out any grayish bits from all sides. Add the ham into 1/2 pot of water, bring to a boil then lower the heat to keep it simmering for 30 minutes. 

Add in 1/2 free-range chicken or Silkie chicken to the pot. Bring to a boil then lower the heat again to keep it at a simmer. Scoop out any grayish bits floating on the surface. Soak some dried mushrooms with cold water for about 15 minutes. Once the stock has been cooked about one hour, add in soaked mushrooms and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. There you have it, a pretty straightforward Chinese style chicken stock. 

Then we move on to a refreshing version of this luscious stock.

A refreshing twist with Jinhua ham infused chicken stock -



Ingredients (for two)?

  • 3 cups of Chinese style chicken stock
  • 0.5 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 6 fried triangular tofu
  • 1/4 small cabbage


How?

Mix ground chicken with grated ginger and lemon zest. Blend in some crushed semi-firm tofu if a softer texture is preferred. Form the ground chicken mix into small meatballs, makes about 8 here -


Bring 3 cups of chicken stock to a boil then add in cabbage pieces - 


Cook till the cabbage softens a little then add in triangular tofu. Grilled or firm tofu can be two other alternatives. Once the cabbage is about done, meaning reaching preferred texture, add in chicken meatballs and wait till they get fully cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Dust with additional lemon zest before serving.



Other Asian soup recipes: